Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on August 17, 2023, Daivon Sullivan, 21, and Leyron Jones, 26, both of Toms River, were found guilty of Murder in connection with the shooting death of Javon Cutler which occurred in Toms River on October 11, 2020 – following a three week-long jury trial before the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, P.J.Cr.P. In rendering its verdict, the jury concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that Sullivan and Jones knowingly or purposely caused the death of Mr. Cutler, or purposely or knowingly caused serious bodily injury to Mr. Cutler which resulted in his death. The jury also found Sullivan and Jones guilty of Conspiracy to Commit Murder and Attempted Murder with respect to a second victim, as well as Unlawful Possession of a Weapon. Finally, Sullivan was found guilty of Attempted Murder as to a third victim. Sullivan and Jones are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Ryan on October 20, 2023, at which time they each face life in prison.
An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Toms River Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, revealed that on October 11, 2020, at approximately 8:15 p.m., Javon Cutler, 19, of Bayville, and two friends were attempting to leave Toms River Apartments, located on Main Street in Toms River, when an unknown individual opened fire on their vehicle. Mr. Cutler, who was seated in the rear passenger seat, was struck in the head as a result. The driver of the vehicle drove directly to Community Medical Center to seek medical treatment for Mr. Cutler. Mr. Cutler was subsequently transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries on October 14, 2020. A post-mortem examination was performed by the Ocean County Medical Examiner on October 15, 2020. The Medical Examiner determined the cause of Mr. Cutler’s death to be intermediate distance gunshot wound to the head, and the manner of death to be homicide.
After a very thorough and comprehensive investigation that spanned the course of nearly three weeks, it was determined that Sullivan, Jones and a third defendant – Shadrach Correa, 21, of Toms River – acted together and in support of one another in carrying out the shooting that resulted in the death of Javon Cutler. All three defendants were charged in connection with Mr. Cutler’s murder on October 28, 2020. Correa had already been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since October 23, 2020 relative to an unrelated charge; Sullivan and Jones were apprehended on October 29, 2020, and have been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since they were taken into custody.
On April 24, 2023, Correa pled guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Murder and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon. He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 8, 2023; Correa’s sentencing will be left to the Court’s discretion.
Prosecutor Billhimer is most appreciative of the efforts of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Robert Cassidy and Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Burke, who both ably and skillfully tried the case on behalf of the State. The Prosecutor likewise extends his gratitude to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit; Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force; Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit; Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Regional SWAT Team; Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit; Toms River Township Police Department; Toms River Township Police Detective Bureau; Toms River Township Police Department Emergency Services Unit; Toms River Township Special Enforcement Team; Manchester Township Police Department; Barnegat Township Police Department; Berkeley Township Police Department; Seaside Heights Police Department; Brick Township Police Department; Lakewood Township Police Department; Jackson Township Police Department; South Toms River Police Department; Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit; New Jersey State Police; Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office; Ocean County Department of Corrections; New Jersey State Department of Corrections; New Jersey State Police; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, for their combined and collective efforts investigating and solving this heinous and senseless crime – ultimately leading to today’s guilty verdict.